I don't own In Plain Sight or any affiliated characters.

"I'm thinking…" I tell him, and not just about his words- How he told me I don't need a cowboy; I've done and been the cowboy;
I need something messy, someone who challenges me, someone who makes me think.

I'm thinking… I know he's right about me as he always is.

I'm thinking… about this cowboy, my partner, my best friend - how his stare touches me to my core; there's a flash of honesty in his eyes
which he tried but failed to conceal. I'm not as naïve as he gives me credit for. I didn't count on him looking at me with such openness, so soon.

I'm thinking… that he doesn't know when he looks at me he challenges me, makes me want to be a better person.
He makes me feel valuable and treasured as no one, no other man can.

I see Stan walk past us, I follow him to talk to him and escape the weight of Marshall's stare because if I stay another second I'm afraid
he will see the truth or I will give into the almost overwhelming compulsion to admit what he can't know yet. I compliment Stan, calling him
a 'dear man' because he lied to spare a daughter's feelings; sometimes lies are necessary to protect the feelings of others, especially to
protect the ones we love the most. I pretend that I don't see Marshall's disappointed expression spreading across his face;
I know he must think he just missed his chance. It breaks my heart; because I wish I could show him he didn't miss a thing.

I'm thinking… I wish I wasn't such a good actress.

I'm thinking… this has been a crazy year- My family, the witnesses, me becoming engaged and unengaged to Raph; me realizing I had fallen in love with my best friend,
that I had always loved him some way. Even when it wasn't as clear to me as it was when he was looking at me like that.
I know he loves me too.

I'm thinking… he's crazy for loving me. He deserves better than what I can give him right now; I'm so broken and he believes in me like nobody else, some potential in me-
he sees a finished product, which I am far from being. For some reason he does not give up; he never quits on me. I'm amazed by this man. I do get closer, one painstaking day at a time.
I'm getting closer to being the woman he should have. I would kill any woman if she ever broke his heart, I'll be dammed if that woman is me. He never thinks of himself only of what
would be good for me, I saw from that look of determination and sincerity- he would be willing to try, to risk it. He doesn't see that I couldn't bear to lose him, I am no stranger to
loss in my life but him being gone would be the death of me. He keeps me from falling away. He helps me fight myself; his faith in me pushes me on.

I'm thinking… I am so selfish, keeping this to myself but right now I would hurt him. I've been told I am toxic. I would poison us in the end, if I rush this. I'm hoping the day will come
when I can be honest with him; if I'm not too late. He can't know right now, but I dream of a future life- of me waking up in the arms of my favorite cowboy, to his kisses in our bed;
we're smiling. This to me is a future worth fighting for, worth waiting for, one I am not willing to jeopardize.

I'm thinking… He is the one thing I have to get right in my messed up life; I will do right by him. He is no one night stand, not just another warm body. I've repeatedly heard his father's,
now his favorite expression "everything is everything" and he is everything to me. This is a scary concept; one I have not quite yet adjusted to, but it's a truth I know I'll have to bear
the burden of. I am his, as I have been no one else's. He has a claim on my soul. I trust him with my life; I trust him with more than that. He would never use me or take advantage of
his power over me. He's the only one who could ever truly break my heart; he's the only one I know never would.

So yes, Marshall… I'm thinking.